How to River Float on the Grand River

People are looking for fun ways to explore and spend time outdoors this summer that can still be social distanced from others.   Tubing is a perfect family outing.   This post will include everything you need to know about tubing and also tips and a map for tubing down the Grand River in Paris and Brantford, Ontario, Canada.

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Tubing on the Grand River 2020

How do we do this?

The first way is to leave Dad or Mom with the car.   Since our Dad doesn’t love water or floating on it he will take us all in our van with our tubes and drop us at a drop in point and we call him when we are near our exit point and he picks us up.

The second way is to go with another family or close friends.   We all meet at the entry point and drop off most of the families.   Then two of the parents drive both vehicles to the exit point.   Then they both get in one of the vehicles and drive back to the entry point where the families are waiting.   Then everyone floats to the exit point where one vehicle is waiting to bring the drivers (or everyone if you have a big enough vehicle) back to the start where the one vehicle is waiting.   Hopefully that make sense.

What Equipment to buy?

* You’ll need good quality tubes, rafts or mattresses.   NO dollar store floaties!  We bought ours from Costco, Walmart, and Canadian Tire.   Don’t bother with the giant 4 + person floating islands.   They are only good for in a lake.   They get stuck on rocks and don’t move well through the river.   You will also need an electric or automotive pump.   We bought ours from Canadian Tire and it plugs into the cigarette lighter in the van.   Pumps up the tubes in minutes.  May want to bring a few ropes to connect tubes especially if floating with small children.   Life jackets are a must for anyone under 12 in our house.   Adults who can swim don’t really need them as many places in the river you can touch the bottom.   There are a few places of dark deep water but mostly shallow waters.

If you’re looking for the places to get in and out on the Grand below should be a map.  The stars are the entry points and there are a few alternate exits and entries.   The X marks the exits.   If you click on the marks I have made there are tips for each entry and exit and how long most of the routes take.

What to bring?

* Water bag or waterproof bag filled with a couple towels, a small first aid kit, a patch or two in case of a leak, a small cooler filled with snacks and drinks (be sure to keep all wrappers and garbage out of the water),  a whistle and a small flashlight in case of emergency.

What to wear?

*SUNSCREEEN!!!!!! Water clothing, bathing suit optional, wet wicking active wear (NO cotton), hat and water shoes are super great (you can find them for less than $10. on Amazon!)  We never thought we needed water shoes but seeing what can be all in the water when we were hiking this spring has changed our minds.   Clams, old cans, slime, seaweed, sharp rocks are just a few of the hazards to your feet.   Sliced feet can ruin a trip and regular shoes are hard to swim in if you happen to fall in so swallow your pride and buy the silly things!   We found ones that feel like socks with hard rubber bottoms and they worked so well for our first run.

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Hard to tell but each raft allows a foot on either side of you and you can stay as far away from friends as you want with ropes as your connection and your social distancing guide.

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